April 22, 2005

Desilets to face charges

Woonsocket Call

JOHN LARRABEE, Staff Writer 04/22/2005

WORCESTER -- An 81-year-old Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing Bellingham altar boys two decades ago will face arraignment Monday in Worcester Superior Court.

The Rev. Paul M. Desilets, who worked at Bellingham’s Our Lady of Assumption Parish from 1974 to 1984, faces 26 sexual assault charges, according to a statement from the Worcester County district attorney’s office.

His arraignment could mean an eventual resolution to the charges, which first came to light more than three years ago when sexual abuse charges were rocking the Roman Catholic Church, and especially the Archdiocese of Boston.

Desilets was indicted by a Worcester County grand jury in May 2002, but for a time he avoided prosecution because he was living in Canada. Authorities in Quebec arrested him, but he resisted extradition to the United States, citing his old age and health problems.

Posted by kshaw at April 22, 2005 05:30 AM